Exeter Chiefs have fielded a new-look side to play their first game in the new British & Irish Cup against Newport on Friday night.
Chiefs' head coach Rob Baxter has used the break in the league to his advantage to give game-time to players returning from injury and who have not featured heavily in the last 11 weeks, as well as first chances for some young players.
Academy player Michael Stupple, who goes by the name of Herbie, will make his first start for Chiefs at Rodney Parade, and may well be followed onto the pitch by potential debutants Jack Andrew, Lewis Calder and Dave Ewers off the bench. Adam and Ewers are also part of Exeter Chiefs' academy while Calder, son of Lions and Scotland player Jim Calder and nephew of rugby legend Finlay Calder, is on load from Redruth.
Baxter said: "We are really looking forward to this game. We have made a lot of changes by including some guys who deserve more game-time.
"Herbie is one of our academy players and has been training with us all season and has been playing quality rugby down at Redruth."
Stupple, who played at centre for Redruth at the weekend, said: "I have been looking forward to this all season; just hoping to put a No 8 shirt on for Exeter. I have been playing for Redruth, which has been good, but this is what I have wanted to do. Rob has given me a chance and I want to show him what I can do." Sean Tomes will start at lock on Friday and will be armed with a certain amount of inside knowledge after playing for Newport last season. He said: "I know a little about Newport as I played a little bit for them when I was involved with the Dragons. South Wales is massive for rugby; it's their main sport and they take a lot of pride in their rugby. They like to play an expansive game while keeping the emphasis on tough forward play. We'll definitely be playing some rugby up there!" Newport v Exeter Chiefs
British & Irish Cup
Friday, November 20, 2009 - KO 7.30pm
15 Sean Marsden 14 Nic Sestaret 13 Bryan Rennie 12 Tom Bedford 11 Paul McKenzie 10 Danny Gray 9 Clive Stuart-Smith 1 Ben Moon 2 Saul Nelson 3 Ruaidhri Murphy 4 Sean Tomes 5 James Hanks 6 Alan Miller (capt) 7 Andy Miller 8 Michael Stupple
16 Jack Andrew 17 Sam Blythe 18 Toby Freeman 19 Lewis Calder 20 Dave Ewers 21 Richard Bolt 22 Matt Cornwell
After two years in the international wilderness, Adi Taviner is hoping to make up for lost time when she takes part in her second Women's Rugby World Cup which kicks off in Paris next Friday where Wales take on hosts, France.
The WRU's Women and Girls legacy events - #TRY OUR GAME have proved popular this week with current players and newcomers to the game learning new skills and picking up tips from national squad players.
We caught up with Shona and Ellie from the Wales women team ahead of the start of the Women's Rugby World Cup in Paris next month at a recent women's training session to encourage and promote more women and girls to try their hand at rugby. #tryourgame
The Women's Rugby World Cup warm-up clash between Wales and USA proved bittersweet for centre Elen Evans. Despite being one of the star performers on the day on her 50th Test appearance, USA edged home 10-7 at Cross Keys.
Wales completed their Junior World Championship campaign with a victory over Samoa. Team manager Mark Taylor and No 8 James Benjamin reflect on a tournament which saw Wales win three games and lose two.